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2012 Orange Prize for Fiction: shortlist

The Orange Prize for Fiction – the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by women – has announced its shortlist nominations for 2012 today (17 April). Now in its seventeenth year, the Orange Prize for Fiction celebrates originality, excellence and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world, with this year’s shortlist featuring Irish, Canadian, American and British writers.

Come see the six shortlisted novels for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction below. You can also peruse the other 24 books that made a place in this year's longlist for the prize.

The six finalists will be whittled down by a five-strong panel of esteemed female judges, including the Prize’s chair novelist Joanna Trollope and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky, with the final winner being announced at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 30 May.

“This is a shortlist of remarkable quality and variety,” commented Joanna Trollope. “It includes six distinctive voices and subjects, four nationalities and an age range of close on half a century. It is a privilege to present it.”

Get the lowdown on the Orange Prize’s shortlisted books - click through the gallery below to find out what you should be reading this year and let us know your thoughts on the nominees on Twitter or in the comments section below.